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I've been wanting to know more about the Pogues and Shane MacGowan for a while now. The websites and wiki just didnt cover the detail that I wanted to know. To start, I didn't realize they weren't a fully Irish band... Anyhoo, I never expected to read a good story about the band that didn't focus 90% on Shane... To my happiness, James Fearnley's book is exactly what I wanted to read - it covered everyone equally. It also included a musicians perspective from someone who was there... It got 4 stars from me for telling a story I wanted to hear.
Now for the bad part. I couldn't wait to be finished.. I had the misfortune of listening to this as an audiobook narrated by James Fearnley himself. His Manchester accent was REALLY hard to get used to. I honestly thought he was faking it and pretending to read the book in the style of the over-the-top tour manager in Waynes World 2...But thats the way he speaks... What made it worse is his overuse of a thesaurus and paragraph long descriptions of EVERYTHING - It made the book borderline unbearable to listen at times... I've yelled at my audible player numerous times for him to just say "pick" instead of "plectrum", or using "capitulate" instead of "surrender". The only saving grace is that I picture when his bandmates Shane, Spider or Kait read this, they would rail into him about his boorishness...
Before you decide to not read this book based on my review, just remember that I gave it 4 stars even tho I absolutely hated the pretentious way it was written and narrated. That is saying a lot... I am grateful to have read the book and heard the stories and history of the Pogues as a whole.
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Really enjoyed the book. Great to get an insider view of the Pogues. The narration is really clear and easy to follow.
This is the best music memoir I've ever read/listened to. Though James isn't a natural to narrating, he's a fantastic mimic. Fascinating insight in to a departed London too. Fascinating, funny story told in an interesting/literary style.